Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany agree it was strange returning to the pandemic-proofed set of Marvel Studios series WandaVision, which hit the pause button before it managed to complete filming without a single positive COVID-19 test. The six-episode Disney+ original series about super-powered suburban couple Wanda Maximoff (Olsen) and Vision (Bettany) filmed from November 2019 to March of this year, when Disney suspended production on WandaVision alongside The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. A planned four-week pause turned into a months-long break until filming resumed over the summer in Los Angeles, where WandaVision wrapped without incident — one year after it first went in front of cameras.
"We were on hiatus when shut down happened. We had a sort of planned four-week hiatus (laughs). It was a longer pause than I think any of us could have imagined," Bettany told the Television Academy. "They did a brilliant job, Disney and Marvel, at keeping us all safe. We had not one single positive test."
Olsen added it was "really hard to go from complete calm and in your own space and home to being on set, and then you have all these other things that you have to be thinking of like your mask and your shield."
The sitcom-inspired WandaVision went from filming in front of a live studio audience to a sterilized set, one brought to life by newly-implemented health and safety protocols that made the experience "very strange."
"You'd go on set [and] that shield comes off, and everybody else's shields go on with the mask," Bettany explained. "And you do your scene with your partner [before] being whisked away and then put in your sort of hermetically-sealed trailer. There is no hanging around on set. The way you build up camaraderie with your cast and your entire crew — that felt very diminished. And I missed that."
Added Olsen of the Matt Shakman-directed series, "It was definitely strange, and I think we found a lot of the humor in it. And it kind of evolved as we went, and you got more comfortable with it."
"Let me say how great it is that it worked because you just felt like the industry can [film safely]," Bettany said. "So to see a way where it could [work] was really comforting and exciting."
The Kevin Feige-produced WandaVision launches Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it starts streaming on Disney+ on January 15, 2021.
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